Dr. Sarrel describes the relationship between high blood pressure and a woman's risk for a myocardial infarction.
Let’s talk about elevated blood pressure because the problem of hypertension is as much a problem in women as they age as it is in men. A turning point seems to be the menopause. The problem of hypertension in women, whether it’s a surgical menopause from a hysterectomy and removal of the ovaries, so it could happen in a young woman, or a little older woman say instead of in her 30s or 40s, a woman in her 50s.
One of the things that women have to do is regularly check their blood pressure, and the reason is that again, the ovary’s hormones do play a role in helping to prevent the elevation of blood pressure, not her progesterone, but her estradiol. We know that estradiol, especially if given through the skin, lowers blood pressure.
How does elevated blood pressure get into this whole story of a myocardial infarct? In a very important way because when the pressure is higher in your arteries it damages the wall. Just try to imagine a stream going through and you’ve got cells lining the vessel and if you increase the power of that you start to injure the cells that are lining the vessel and you impair their ability to dilate.
So hypertension, very major issue in men and women’s health, and you have to pay attention to that and the easiest way for you to be protective and do something for yourself is to have your blood pressure regularly measured.
About Dr. Sarrel, M.D.:
Philip M. Sarrel, M.D., completed his medical education at New York University School of Medicine, his internship at the Mount Sinai Hospital, and his residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. In addition to his many years on the faculty of the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Sarrel has also been a Faculty Scholar in the department of psychiatry at Oxford University, Visiting Senior Lecturer at King’s College Hospital Medical School at the University of London, Visiting Professor in Cardiac Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, and Visiting Professor in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He is currently Emeritus Professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and psychiatry at Yale University.